Avian Flu detected in Lincoln County breeder flock

The Department of Agriculture is in the process of destroying 73,500 birds at one Tennessee farm after investigators found some of the birds had the deadly avian influenza virus. Gov. Bill Haslam says officials are working to make sure it does not impact on the local economy. The highly pathogenic form of the virus can be fatal to domesticated chickens and turkeys.

The Department of Agriculture was alerted to an increase in the number of chicken deaths at a commercial facility on March 3.

SEOUL, March 6 South Korea will ban imports of US poultry after a strain of H7 bird flu virus was confirmed at a USA chicken farm, the agriculture ministry said on Monday, cutting shipments from its main supplier during a current egg shortage. No other flocks have experienced an increase in mortality.

HPAI does not pose a risk to the food supply and no affected animals entered the food chain. The news release stated that none of the affected animals have entered the food chain and that the risk of human infection is now very low.

According to the Tennessee Poultry Association, there are more than 1,650 commercial broiler and breeder houses on more than 550 family farms in the state. Also, this is not the same strain identified in that outbreak.

The statement said the most recent USA detection of HPAI was in January 2016 in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana.

State Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton said in the release that while the situation is not desirable, the state has made the proper preparations. Officials are monitoring flocks within the quarantined area and "depopulating" the infected flock.

Owners of commercial and backyard poultry flocks are encouraged to closely observe their birds.

The source of the bird flu outbreak in Lincoln County has not yet been identified. This version of H7 HPAI is confirmed as a North American wild bird lineage. Each year, the Kord Animal Health lab tests approximately 22,000 samples from poultry for avian flu.

  • Joanne Flowers